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3 Simple Tricks to Create Texture in Watercolor

Creating Texture with Watercolor

  A little texture in your paintings can go a long way. It can really help take your art to the next level if done properly. This article covers three easy ways to create some texture with watercolor using 3 simple household items that you most likely already have.

1. Salt

  This is a great trick to create snow, stars or frost. It is more noticeable and dramatic when used on darker colors. The salt is dropped or sprinkled onto wet paint. The effect will vary depending on the coarseness of the salt, thickness and the wetness of your paint. If your paint is just damp it will have little or no effect. Make sure you let the paint dry completely before removing the salt.

Table salt (Fine)

You can see how thick the salt was here and how it has left a dark spot where the salt was sitting. Thicker applications of paint will leave this effect. When painting a snow effect you would want to use less salt. The result will be more believable.

Coarse salt

Here I used a thinner paint and dropped the salt in right away. You will receive different results depending on how soon you drop the salt in. But if your paint is starting to dry you will have little to no texture.

TIP: Your painting needs soft neutral places for the viewer’s eye to rest when looking at your art. If there is too much texture in your painting the viewer will be overwhelmed.

2. Rubbing Alcohol

Dropped onto wet paint

As with any texture, the results will vary with the thickness of the paint and the amount and strength of the alcohol used.

Painted on dry paper

I used a paint brush and painted on some of the rubbing alcohol. I then painted over it right away.

3. Plastic Wrap

  This technique is really nice for a stained glass effect or for rocks.
The plastic wrap is crinkled up and laid down on the wet paint. You can also move the wrap around when you first put it down to get the desired effect you want.  It is not removed until the paint is completely dry.
Here are the results after it was allowed to dry and the plastic wrap was removed.  
This is only 3 textures out many more. You can use just about anything you can think of to create an interesting texture. Texture can be a great addition to your painting but here is a word of caution, with texture, less is more. Too much texture will make your painting too busy.

Experience the Joy of Art

Krista Hasson Artist painter oil and watercolor batik


I am Krista, a Canadian artist born and raised on the east coast in beautiful New Brunswick. My paintings come from my love of nature, a place of pure joy.


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What is your favorite way to create texture?  
Cheers, Krista PS:  Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!    
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